Removing Books From Your Pull List


After reading Leigh Hart’s column about pull lists, and taking inspiration from a tweet by Hope Nicholson, I got thinking about the eventuality of every comic book pull list… removing a title from your list (or the dreaded cancellation of your list completely).

It is easy to become attached to your list, and you will keep adding new titles to your list.  Because of the routine, you will keep buying your books on your list, even when you don’t want them anymore.

You need to cut them off your list.

It is liberating to do it.

There are many reasons to cut a title from your list.  First and foremost I think the main reason to cut a title from your list is money.  Let’s face facts here.  Money is hard to come by, and buying a big stack of comics every week can really cut into your finances.  Sometimes you have to make the hard decision and cut a title from your pull list, for the sake of your own cash flow.

Another reason to cut a title from your list is very simple.  Quality.  If you are reading something that isn’t very good, get rid of it.  As collectors, we can find ourselves trapped into buying and reading garbage because we are scared to let it go.  We can’t let it go because no matter how bad each issue is, there is that chance that it could get better.  Stop playing the lottery, cut the poor books off your list, and you will be farther ahead in the long term.

Time is another big factor too.  I’m sure many of you reading this have huge stacks of comics that have been paid for and never read. I know I do!  In this busy world it’s tough to find time to do all the fun things.  Between work (or school), and all the movies, video games, TV shows and social gatherings that are out there to do, who has time to read a huge pile of comic books? (and if you collect trades your pile is taller and heavier).

If you don’t have time to read everything you buy, let something go.  Cut it from your list.

It is liberating to remove stuff from your list.  Trust me, within a month you won’t even miss those titles anymore.  And, if for some reason you change your mind, you can always peruse the back issue bins and pick up those titles later (and sometimes at a reduced cost).

Many comic book shops are accommodating, when you want to remove a title from your list.  At my local store, they will print off a complete list of your titles so you can actually see what you are subscribed to.  They are willing to make you happy, especially if you are still a regular customer.  But, I am lucky enough to have a very accommodating local comic book store.

Now saying that, I have a tip for you.  If you are cancelling a title, be respectful of the store.  They have invested a lot of money into your pull list.  Don’t sit there and let your pile build up over months and months and then decide you don’t want it anymore.  I have seen it many times where people give up on their pull lists, and a store is forced to put hundreds of dollars of comic books in the back issue bins, because you change your mind.

I like to give the store at least one month’s notice before I cancel a title.  It gives the store a chance to adjust their order, so they are not stuck with a shelf warming back issue comic.  Since you are essentially taking profit out of their pocket, at least show the store some courtesy of giving them notice.

I know some of you have your own story about cutting your list.  I would like to hear them in the comments below.  Especially from you retailers.  What are some of the challenges you have to face to encourage customers to add new books to their pull list, or trying to convince them to keep the books that are on their list already?

Ed Campbell
Ed Campbell

Ed Campbell is a collector of comics and action figures, primarily G.I. Joe. He is also a Cosplayer with Thor and Captain America as just a few of the characters in his arsenal. When not fulfilling his Comic Book Daily duties, he's "working for a living", volunteering his time for his local Fall Fair, and spending as much time with his family as possible. Use the links below to get in contact with him.

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Ron Kasman
11 years ago

I could relate to the part about having huge stacks of comics that remain unread. So much looks good and so much of that can be found at a reasonable price at comic conventions, remaindered book stores, used book stores and comic book stores that I can’t keep up. There are all sorts of things I have to do that are more important than reading comics. Comic reading is usually done while lying in bed, 20 minutes before I go to sleep, in airports, on buses and trains.

Tom Berry
Tom Berry
11 years ago

Don’t buy many new books and what I do buy are mainly independents. I have a pull box at G’s Comics in Murray, Ky. Right now I think I have about four titles on order and two of those are mini-series…Mark Waid’s Green Hornet and Dark Shadows. I don’t buy the run-of-the-mill books anymore. The cost too much and too many bad stories and lousy art. I have to see before I buy so I keep my pull list very small.

Chris Howard
11 years ago

I’ve been hesitant o cancel a magazine on my list, but I’ve got that dreaded stack and I’m just adding to the pile. I need to cut it off and then actually read the stack.

I feel bad about doing it though…

11 years ago

I’ve noticed that the comics I buy can generally be divided into two groups. There are the titles I look forward to, and read right away each month. Then there are the titles that accumulate for months, until I finally get around to reading them, usually in an afternoon.

I’ve thought about cutting out the second pile completely from my pulls. Honestly, I doubt I’d miss them, since I don’t seem to look forward to them. But sometimes titles do move from one group to the other, as writers, artists, and quality changes. I worry that I’ll miss out on a future great story by trimming what doesn’t currently interest me.